- Like that of several other socio-economic offences, corruption stands out as an offence which affects the community as a whole. It is not just an offence between the perpetrator of a traditional crime like murder, theft or rape and an innocent victim. In fact and reality the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker are equally guilty. Although, corruption undoubtedly affects the morality of the people in general, but its overwhelming impact is on the economic health of a nation and accordingly corruption will have to be classified as an ‘economic offence’.
- It is difficult to apportion the blame for corruption as between officers at the highest level and their subordinates. It is true that economic deprivation in the middle and lower class officials in the past may have led to a large number of corrupt practices but this, in itself, does not absolve the superiors whose lust for higher and higher standard of living .is never satiated. Then again, corruption like sacrifices, starts at the top and percolates down to the bottom.
- One more distinguishing feature of the offence of corruption is that the victim as also the beneficiary of the offence are equally interested in maintaining utmost secrecy about their transactions. This aggravates the difficulty on the part of the enforcement staff in obtaining vital evidence which will help the prosecutor to secure conviction in deserving cases.
CAUSES OF CORRUPTION
- Corruption is an offence like that of many other offences punishable
under the criminal law of our country. Basically, therefore, it is the
sociologists and the criminologists who can delve deep into causes of
corruption. For that matter, the causes of crime, in general, equally applied
to the offence of corruption. However, it can perhaps be suggested that
certain special socio-economic and political factors do accentuate the
tendency to commit these offences which could be bracketed together
under the title of corruption. The aforesaid factors can be summarised in
the following works.
- The aftermath of the second World War accompanied by scarcities,
controls and the flush of easy money was perhaps one of the factors
responsible for corruption. The second factor was the fall in real income of
the various categories of public servants.
the main factors responsible for increasing corruption in the developing countries are :
- Little loyalty to the community as a whole, whether on the local or the national level. This, according to Myrdal, implies stronger loyalty to less inclusive groups family, cast, ethnic religious or linguistic community.
- The state of transition from colonial to self government.
- Wide discretionary powers and low level of real wages.
- Cumulative effects working within the system of corruption itself.
- Administrative delays and read-tapism is another major cause of
corruption and this has led to the dishonest practice of giving speed
- Rapid industrialization and consequent urbanization has changed
our values in such a way as to enhance the importf oece of status through
possession of money.
- The emergence of a class of white-collar criminals indulging in tax
evasion, under-invoicing, over-invoicing of export and import, substandard
performance of contracts, hording, profiteering and blackmarketing etc.
have afforded unprecendented opportunities for corruption to public servants.
- In an economy of expending money circulation, moral and ethical
values have considerably slackened resulting again in corruption.
Misplaced sympathy for corruption public servants is another factor
for encouraging corruption.
- It is also said that existing anti-corruption law agencies are totally
inadequate to prevent higher-level corruption.
- Inadequate financial resources by way of monthly salary resulting in
economic deprivation coupled with the increase of consumerism and
commercialism in the environment is another factor for corruption.
- Social obligation towards the members of one’s family, the
customary practice of giving dowry for a daughter’s marriage and
the hankering for social status have been responsible for corruption
to a certain extent.
BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION
- A colloquial word associated with corruption is that of ‘Bribery’ and
hence, it becomes appropriate to clarify the meaning of the latter. Although
the words ‘bribery’ and ‘corruption’ seem to have been used
synonymously in the past but the former seems to have narrower
- It comprehends all “improper or selfish exercise of
power and influence attached to a public office or to the special position
one occupies in public life”. This is obviously a comprehensive meaning
of corruption and it is in this sense that the word ‘corruption’ has been
used in this work.
Types Of Corruption
- As opposed to exploiting occasional opportunities, endemic or systemic corruption is when corruption is an integrated and essential aspect of the economic, social and political system, when it is embedded in a wider situation that helps sustain it.
Sporadic (individual) corruption
- Sporadic corruption is the opposite of systemtic corruption. Sporadic corruption occurs irregularly and therefore it does not threaten the mechanisms of control nor the economy as such. It is not crippling, but it can seriously undermine morale and sap the economy of resources.
Political (Grand) corruption
- Political corruption is any transaction between private and public sector actors through which collective goods are illegitimately converted into private-regarding payoffs. Political corruption is often used synonymously with “grand” or high level corruption, distinguished from bureaucratic or petty corruption because it involves political decision-makers. Political or grand corruption takes place at the high levels of the political system, when politicians and state agents entitled to make and enforce the laws in the name of the people, are using this authority to sustain their power, status and wealth.
- High level or “grand” corruption takes place at the policy formulation end of politics. It refers not so much to the amount of money involved as to the level in which it takes place: grand corruption is at the top levels of the public sphere, where policies and rules are formulated in the first place. Usually (but not always) synonymous to political corruption.
- Small scale, bureaucratic or petty corruption is the everyday corruption that takes place at the implementation end of politics, where the public officials meet the public. Petty corruption is bribery in connection with the implementation of existing laws, rules and regulations, and thus different from “grand” or political corruption.
Legal and Moral Corruption
- Corruption is derived from the Latin verb rumpere, to break. According to this approach, corruption is where the law is clearly broken. This requires that all laws must be precisely stated, leaving no doubts about their meaning and no discretion to the public officials.
- The legal approach provides a neutral and static method of adjudicating potentially emotive and perception determined concepts of corruption. An understanding of corruption from law perspective serves to underline a deterioration of self-regulated behaviour and a dependence on the legal approach to determine right from wrong.
- Legislating for behaviour warrants focus upon the legality of an action and not the morality of that same action. Morality is increasingly being legislated for in the absence of and a loss of faith in self regulated behaviour.
Effects of corruption
The impact of corruption on developing countries cannot be overemphasized. The results are
often disastrous. The eleven year civil conflict in Sierra Leone, for instance was largely
attributed to pervasive corruption in all spheres of governance. The occurrence of corruption in
large scale reflects in many areas of development and is intrinsically linked with under
development. Poor conditions of service as is the case in many developing countries open the
door to bribery.
One of the greatest impacts of corruption normally arises out of the choices and priorities of
governments. This occurs when the real development priorities of a country are often neglected
in favour of those that generate the greatest personal gains for the decision makers. Here, it is
clearly evident that many projects have become white elephants and easy route for personal
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL EFFECTS OF CORRUPTION
Corruption facilitates environmental destruction. Corrupt countries may formally have legislation
to protect the environment; it cannot be enforced if officials can easily be bribed. The same
applies to social rights worker protection, unionization prevention, and child labor. Violation of
these laws rights enables corrupt countries to gain illegitimate economic advantage in the
The Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen in India has observed that “there is no such
thing as an a political food problem.” While drought and other naturally occurring events may
trigger famine conditions, it is government action or inaction that determines its severity, and
often even whether or not a famine will occur. Governments with strong tendencies towards
kleptocracy can undermine food security even when harvests are good.
ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF CORRUPTION
Corruption undermines economic development by generating considerable distortions and
inefficiency. In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of
illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with officials, and the risk of
breached agreements or detection. Although some claim corruption reduces costs by cutting
bureaucracy, the availability of bribes can also induce officials to contrive new rules and delays.
Corruption also generates economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public
investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Officials may
increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave the way for such
dealings, thus further distorting investment. Corruption also lowers compliance with
construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and
infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government.CGPCS Notes brings Prelims and Mains programs for CGPCS Prelims and CGPCS Mains Exam preparation. Various Programs initiated by CGPCS Notes are as follows:-
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